War crimes tribunal targets George W. Bush

Columnist and Columnist

This month is the 10th anniversary of the initiation of the Iraqi war, which ended in December 2011.

With the war slowly fading behind us and new threats being posed, former President George W. Bush and former Prime Minister Tony Blair, along with other high-ranking politicians, are wanted for war crimes involved with the Iraqi invasion and the Iraqi war.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal Foundation (KLFCW), a non-governmental organization, was established in Malaysia in 2007 to prosecute individuals involved in war crimes such as human rights abuse, unjust armed conflict and genocide. The purpose of these international war crime tribunals is to provide an open forum to hold hearings and carry out the legal system for international crimes. The KLFCW aims to charge and prosecute the political leaders from a decade ago for their actions, the first charge being for torture, the second being for war crimes.

The chatter about wanting individuals such as Blair, Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to be formally charged with war crimes is not new, but the most recent charges that have been made within the International Criminal Court for “acts of aggression,” which would be what Bush is charged with, do not take effect until 2017.

Along with the “acts of aggression” charge against him, people involved in having Bush held accountable for his actions also wish to see him charged for war crimes and crimes against humanity, along with violations against the U.S. and United Nations international laws.

When it comes to war crimes, the political leaders are the individuals that will be prosecuted for their decisions. According to philosopher Helen Frowe, the combatants are just pawns meant to carry out the political leader’s orders; combatants are not responsible for what the politicians do. Both sets of combatants believe they are fighting for the just side, believing their cause is the right cause to be fighting for.

Since the Holocaust and other such human rights disasters in the years since, there is a need for human rights to be paid attention to and something done about the countries that violate human rights. But while being more aware of human rights and knowing that every human in the world is entitled to what the Declaration of Human Rights states, human rights threaten a country’s autonomy and sovereignty.

To make sure crimes against human rights are not being committed, the UN safeguards these rights even though countries feel threatened by such a power above them, rather than below them. In this context, the UN and human rights trump government, which states do not agree with. Along with feeling threatened by the UN, the International Criminal Court was created for the concerns of human rights as a place to prosecute war criminals, even though since its creation, the ICC has yet to do much with their name.

Will Bush, Blair and all of the other head politicians from a decade ago wind up in court with war crime charges against them? It seems doubtful with how these courts work, but the issue of war crimes needs to be tackled and solved as a global issue. If it is not these individuals that eventually go to court for their actions, plan on seeing President Barack Obama to be wanted for the war crimes he has committed in the next decade or so.

In today’s global world, with the war, the armed conflicts and the uprisings, a want for war crime charges will start appearing for those who have had a hand in global affairs. It takes time for these cases to work their way forward and into the spotlight— trials for a woman involved in the genocide in Rwanda is just now facing the ICC in court sometime within the past month, and the genocide happened nearly two decades ago.

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